Moonshine is a term for illegally produced alcohol. Given that the production of this alcohol was prohibited, illegal distilleries were hidden in the hills, and at night the process was conducted under the moonlight. Although you should keep in mind that this is prohibited, basically, here are a few guidelines on how to make moonshine.
The most commonly used grain for this particular purpose is corn. It is used for preparing moonshine mash, the mixture of water, grain cornmeal and yeast. So, you will need 5 lb of grain cornmeal and water each, one or more cubes of yeast and some malt extract, if you like.
Another thing you will need is one large stainless steel pot, preferably wooden spoon, a thermometer and a cooker. It would be great if you have one where you can adjust the temperature precisely. So, pour 10 gallons of water in the pot, warm it up on 120 to 145 F and you can start adding your cornmeal, stirring all the way. After that, simply add some sugar, little by little, and continue cooking and stirring for a half an hour.
It’s time to cool everything up, and to add the yeast in the mixture. Combine the yeast with some water and pour it to the mixture, together with desired amount of malt extract. You should mix everything and pour the mixture into some large bowl, ceramic, glass or plastic. Cover everything with some cotton cloth or some old clean T-shirt. Leave the bowl in a room temperature for another ten to fourteen days.
After a few days, the foam will be formed at the top of the mixture. Mixture is ready when foam stops growing, mainly for ten days, or a day or two longer. After that, strain the mixture into a distillation pot. The distillation pot can be purchased online, but keep in mind that it must be made of stainless steel, not aluminum. Aluminum could react with alcohol.
Good quality distillation pots can be found online. For those who decide to buy one, it is recommended to choose New Zealand made ones, they produce really good ones. Maybe the main reason for this is that home distilleries are legal there, and they make the best equipment. Of course, you may design your own distillation pot using your old pressure cooker, one long copper tube and simple cold water filled sink.
Put your distillation pot on the stove and adjust the temperature on precisely 177 degrees F. This is the boiling point of grain alcohol. It means that on this point alcohol will turn into ethanol steam. Before it happens, on lower temperature, the liquid that will come through the cooling tube will contain methanol, because this poisonous compound becomes steam at lower temperatures. That’s why you should discard any liquid that comes out before the desired temperature of the pot is reached.
So, once you achieve the desired temperature of the pot, throw the previously released liquid and start collecting your moonshine. It will be unbelievably strong, with over 90 percent of alcohol. That’s why it needs to be diluted with clean water before consumption, to make sure it contains 40 to 50 percents of alcohol. Keep it in ceramic or glass made jars, or in one small oak barrel.
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